How-to Install a double-din head unit in a 2001 A8L by stellatariche

By diyauto
( 3 )

5 minute read

How-to Install a double-din head unit in a 2001 A8L

Compliments of stellatariche @



I have a 2001 A8L. The previous owner ripped out the Bose Symphony unit, replaced the door speakers, and generally made the thing sound terrible.

Here is what I did to fix it.

(1) Replace the single-din head unit with a hacked Pioneer AVIC-D3. I also installed the optional Bluetooth module, ipod connector, a 30Gig ipod, and new microphone (See install pics below)

(2) Replaced the front door speakers (previously 4" Eclipse coax) with 5.25" Kenwood components. I had to modify the Bose wave guides in the doors, mount the new tweeters and crossovers. A Dremel tool and Dynamat is your friend.

(3) Installed new amps (a 4 channel and separate sub amp), an Alpine Imprint EQ processor (in the side panel where the previous Bose amp went)

(4) Installed dual 10" JBL subs in a sealed box

(5) Made a fake "wall" to hide all the subs, amps and a butt-load of wires.

The Imprint processor uses a calibrated mic to EQ and time correct your system. It seriously rocks now.

Here are some pics:

I like to keep the factory "stealth" look as much as possible - and my kids throw their backpacks and golf clubs (OT: since when is golf now a high school sport. When I was a kid....) in the trunk every day, I wanted to hide and protect my amps/subs/processors/wires from them.

And here is the car itself:

This is a 49 page PDF document (size = 1.1M) I put together with component locations, wiring diagrams and instructions on removing and reinstalling the HVAC vents and controls, the center console and radio

It also shows how to remove the front and rear door trim to replace/upgrade the speakers.

I put the GPS antenna under the dash above the instrument cluster. There are instructions on removing the cluster (no need to disconnect the cluster connectors). There is a shelf back there to mount the GPS (or XM/Sirius) antennas with double stick 3M tape. Clear line of sight to 8+ satellites. 

I would suggest removing the speakers in the rear hat shelf (from inside the trunk) and just using the factory grills with holes into the trunk. That way the sub will better vent into the car (I tried it both ways)

The PDF shows all the wiring connections that you will need to install your new head unit, including backup wires, VSS, illumination, power and ground, and steering wheel controls.

It also lists the proper Metra connectors for an A8 to make life a little easier.

You'll need to run pre-amp out wires to the trunk (driver's side) and power/ground/remote-on to the rear battery (passenger side). The rear seat bottom comes out with two screws just below the bottom front of the rear seat (move the little carpet covers)

Hope that helps. Feel free to email/call me if you have problems. My contact info is on the website (I'm the CEO).

  • John Taylor